6/29/2014 2:10 P.M. ET
Esky's stats rank among top AL vote-getters
By Jackson Alexander / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- With All-Star fan voting slated to end on Thursday, zero Royals are among the American League leaders.
Alcides Escobar remains out of the top five among AL shortstops, despite a nice bounce-back season.
Escobar batted .234 with a .259 on-base percentage last season, but he has elevated those figures in the first half of this year to .288 and .329, respectively, entering Sunday's series finale against the Angels.
When Escobar swiped a pair of bags in the Royals' 8-6 win over the Angels on Friday, he became the first player in franchise history with at least 20 steals and 20 doubles in the first half of a season.
As of last Sunday, Yankees captain Derek Jeter led AL shortstops with 2,353,336 votes. Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox, J.J. Hardy of the Orioles, Jose Reyes of the Blue Jays and Jed Lowrie of the A's rounded out the top five.
Among this group, Escobar ranks first in steals (20) and doubles (21), and is tied for first in OBP (.329), and is second in hits (81) and WAR (1.8).
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Ventura has rain to blame for shortened start
KANSAS CITY -- Yordano Ventura had his start on Saturday interrupted by rain.
The rookie right-hander only threw four innings in the Royals' 6-2 loss to the Angels, but it wasn't due to the quality of his pitching.
Ventura allowed two runs and seven hits in four frames, but a rain delay shelved the starter when the game resumed three hours, 58 minutes later.
"Obviously, I was disappointed. I was prepared to pitch, and I wanted to go back out there, but there was no way I was going to go back out after that rain delay," Ventura said.
It marked Ventura's seventh straight game allowing at least six hits. He's posted a 3.26 ERA in 88 1/3 innings this season.
Finnegan impresses Yost during 'pen session
KANSAS CITY -- Left-hander Brandon Finnegan officially became a member of the Royals organization on Saturday. On Sunday, it was time to meet the skipper.
Ned Yost viewed Finnegan's bullpen session at Kauffman Stadium prior to the series finale against the Angels on Sunday. Kansas City's top pick, No. 17 overall, in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft received a $2,200,600 signing bonus on Saturday.
"Had a nice changeup, nice slider, nice two-seamer, nice fastball, kept the ball down, commanded the ball pretty good," Yost said. "He looks like he's a real competitive kid, he looks like he's got a lot of passion for what he's doing. He's real excited."
Finnegan is scheduled to head out on Monday to begin his first professional assignment at Class A Advanced Wilmington.
Collins getting back on right track at Omaha
KANSAS CITY -- It appears that Royals reliever Tim Collins is making the most of his recent demotion.
In seven innings since being sent to Triple-A Omaha, Collins has allowed zero runs, one hit and struck out 14 batters.
Collins has notched a save and started one game as well.
The Royals optioned Collins, owner of a 4.15 ERA and a 1.558 WHIP, to Omaha last Tuesday.
Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.